Wet and overcast weather is set to dominate the winter sky of Shanghai and surrounding cities in the Yangtze River Delta region for at least another week, following Sunday's brief return of sunshine, weather authorities said.
It may dampen the mood of the area's residents, who have experienced an unusually sunless and wet winter since December.
"I only saw sunshine twice so far in 2019," a Shanghai netizen said on social media. "We should watch the wandering sun instead of The Wandering Earth," a reference to the recent Chinese movie.
According to Shanghai's Xujiahui area meteorological station, the city experienced more than 38 days of rain from the beginning of December to Sunday, the second-most on record over the past 145 years.
Nearby regions, including the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze, experienced a similar wet season with more than 30 rainy days since December, with some areas registering more than 50 rainy days, according to national meteorologists.
Shanghai's neighboring Zhejiang province, for example, averaged 62 millimeters last week, 159 percent more than the same period last year. Total sunshine for the week averaged a paltry one hour. There were 25 hours of sunshine last year, according to the Zhejiang provincial meteorological center.
"The number of rainy days was above normal this winter," said Kong Chunyan, chief service officer at Shanghai Meteorological Service. "The continuous rain in recent days around the Yangtze River Delta region is the result of a convergence of cold air from the north and the warm air from the south."
Such weather will continue at least for this week and might linger longer in Shanghai and the delta region, Kong added.
Despite frequent rains this winter, total precipitation this season has barely exceeded 200 millimeters, far short of the record precipitation in Shanghai's winter history－more than 370 millimeters－Kong said.
The stubborn wet and overcast weather has affected people's daily lives in different ways.
"I've had a relatively somber mood in recent days because of the continuous rainfall," said Wei Ruoxi, a white-collar worker in Shanghai. "It limits my recreational activities on the weekend, and it takes several days for my laundry to dry."
Zhao Qianyun, another resident of Shanghai, said, "Food delivery is super slow, and my packages from Taobao are all wet, which dampens my mood for life and work."
The weather also increased the workload and added safety concerns for food delivery drivers.
Chen Longjun, 32, a delivery driver in Shanghai, said: "The number of orders has increased recently, but the number of part-time delivery workers has decreased because of the bad weather.
"It is hard to manage the orders with mobile phones on rainy days, the road is slippery and our electric motorcycles malfunction more easily."
The wet weather has also affected crops, according to CZTV.com, run by Zhejiang's provincial network.
Xiao Qiang, a tea tree expert at the Tea Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, was quoted as saying that normal weather conditions have little effect on early spring tea but the continuous rainfall will result in a longer production period.
The weather might also result in low production and quality of strawberries and oilseed rape, the report said.
Zhejiang's weather authority also warned of possible landslides and collapses in mountainous areas due to saturated soil.